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May 21, 2018
This week’s theme
Eponyms coined after authors

This week’s words
hobbesian
marivaudage
marinism
cervantic
lovecraftian

hobbesian
Thomas Hobbes
Artist unknown
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Some authors may be gone for hundreds of years, but their literary trails continue to linger. Eponyms are the sillage of these authors.

Coined from the Greek epi- (upon) + -onym (name), eponyms are words coined after people who, through their words or deeds, have found a place in the language and enriched our wordstock.

This week we’ll see five eponyms coined after authors -- English, French, Italian, Spanish, and American.

CONTEST
Can you identify an author’s favorite food, drink, ice-cream flavor, pastime, film, etc. based on a quotation from their works? Here’s what I came up with for Hobbes:
Q: What was Thomas Hobbes’s favorite drink?
A: A small, unsweetened glass of Nestea. (“nasty, brutish and short”)

PRIZES
Selected entries will win their choice of a signed copy of any of my books or a copy of the word game One Up!.

HOW TO ENTER
Email your entries to contest@wordsmith.org. Send them by Friday. Include your location. It can be any author, not necessarily one featured in this week’s words. You can send more than one entry. Email them in this format:
Q: What’s [author]’s favorite [band/sport/food/etc.]?
A: ________________ (“a supporting quotation from [author]”)

See contest results

And now, today’s word ...

Hobbesian

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOB-zee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Of or relating to Thomas Hobbes or his ideas.
2. Grim, selfish, unrestrained, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
After English philosopher and author Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who in his book Leviathan displayed a grim, dog-eat-dog view of human nature. Earliest documented use: 1776.

USAGE:
“But it hews to Mr Trump’s view of the world as violent and Hobbesian.”
The State of the Union Is Fractious; The Economist (London, UK); Jan 31, 2018.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When I am asked, "What, in your view, is the worst human rights problem in the world today?" I reply: "Absolute poverty." This is not the answer most journalists expect. It is neither sexy nor legalistic. But it is true. -Mary Robinson, 7th President of Ireland (b. 21 May 1944)

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